By Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Nov. 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Struggling to lose weight? Maybe posting that selfie on social media can help, researchers say.
Their study included 33 people in two weight-loss groups -- surgical and nonsurgical -- who regularly blogged or posted online about their weight-loss experiences and were followed for four years.
Sharing their successes and setbacks on social media helped the participants stay committed to setting and achieving their weight-loss goals, according to the study results.
"The sharing of intimate information and photos about weight-loss goals in virtual space is a key factor in motivating behaviors that fulfill that new thinner identity and thus helps people reach their goals," said study co-author Sonya Grier, a professor of marketing at American University in Washington, D.C.
She said this approach allows for relative anonymity, accessibility, availability and flexibility for people to create a community that can help keep them motivated and accountable.
"Not everyone can get the support they need from the people they interact with in person on a daily basis," Grier said in a university news release. "It is helpful that technology can support community building and goal achievement in virtual spaces."
The findings were published in the November 2017 issue of the Journal of Interactive Marketing.